Cue the sound of a million fans internally externally screaming. There are hardly any other ways of describing how much of a rollercoaster of feels the second episode of Season 4 was. Let’s attempt to break it down, as well as just, um, cry a lot, shall we?
I know that gif is overused and not exactly new, but…it is way too accurate in describing my exact reaction when the credits started rolling at the end of this episode.
From the start, this episode plays with your heart, in true Moffat fashion. John and Sherlock are still not speaking to each other, after you-know-what happened to you-know-who in episode 1, The Six Thatchers. John is seeing a different therapist now, and is hallucinating and having conversations with Mary. Sherlock, on the other hand, is high as a kite–actually, even higher than that–and has an obsession with a new case: Culverton Smith – wealthy entrepreneur, philanthropist, and, according to Sherlock, serial killer.
What makes him think this? Culverton’s daughter, Faith, who visits the flat and reveals her father’s confession to killing “anyone.” She disappears suddenly, after a night of her and Sherlock walking about town, and Sherlock returns to the flat, completely disoriented and still drugged.
And now, we need to talk about Mrs. Hudson. We all know she’s a badass, but if you doubted this, I hope this episode changed your mind. Terrified of Sherlock’s recent behaviour, she brings him to John (literally; he is in the trunk of her car) and the two proceed to meet Culverton.
Culverton Smith is another fine example of a true Sherlock antagonist; clever, terrifyingly friendly, and somewhat psychopathic. He takes John and Sherlock to a hospital he has funded, and hints at his serial killer nature, in front of a bunch of children, I might add. Not creepy at all. To top it off, his “favourite room” of the hospital is the mortuary.
Through quickly borrowing Culverton’s phone, Sherlock invites Faith to join them at the hospital. He is shocked and confused when he realizes she is not the woman who visited the flat. (So, who was it? Or was it merely a hallucination?) Sherlock lashes out at Culverton and tries to attack him, but John stops him, beating him on the ground. (Hear that? That’s the sound of viewers’ hearts breaking. Again.)
Sherlock is hospitalized, and John returns to the Baker Street flat to find Mycroft, whom he questions about the mysterious third Holmes brother we’ve been hearing about quite a bit this season. Of course, Mycroft reveals nothing on the subject. They do, however, find a surprise in the flat: the video message left by Mary at the end of the last episode. John manages to watch it, and realizes that this entire case was Sherlock’s effort to “save” him, as requested by his late wife.
Culverton secretly visits Sherlock at the hospital. Again, not creepy at all, just casually using secret passageways. Sherlock asks that Culverton kill him, so Culverton increases the dosage in Sherlock’s I.V. drip, before proceeding to suffocate him. Sherlock knows that John is on his way, and sure enough, he arrives and restrains Culverton, now a confessed serial killer. Yep, Sherlock also managed to record his confessions, no big deal.
Time to check in with you, my dear Sherlockians. Everybody still breathing and mostly alive? Good. We can get through this together.
So, you think the episode is basically over at this point, right? WRONG.
John visits his therapist again, and through a reveal that still has me in shock, we find out that this therapist is not, in fact, a therapist, but is a disguise, a front. The same person posed as Faith, and visited Baker Street, earlier in the episode.
Turns out that long-lost, secret third Holmes brother is actually a sister.
Ladies and gents, please welcome, Eurus Holmes, as she pulls out a gun, points it at John Watson, and pulls the trigger.
End episode, and cue credits/me staring at a wall for a solid hour, in total shock.
Time to curl up in a corner until next week’s episode, the finale of Season 4: “The Final Problem.” Stay tuned.